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Wilfred Owen.

Discussion in 'off topic' started by twotone, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    A poignant experience I have no doubt whatsoever ev.

    I have some friends from back home (NornIron) who went back to retrace the footsteps of relatives from the Ulster Divisions last Winter. It had a fairly profound impact on them.
    McKMini and eternumviti like this.
  2. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    The absolute waste of life in that war was just unbelievabley sad. Owen's death just highlights what we lost during that war, he was only 25 and had only really start writing poetry in 1917 in an unbelievable burst of creativity but how many other Owens died during that war and who never realised what they had inside of them or maybe the did know what they had inside them but were unable to produce that creativity due to circumstances of the time.

    When I think of Owen and what we lost I think about the Spanish poet Federico Gabriel Lorca who was similar to Owen and murdered by the state too and just as talented as Owen IMO.
  3. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    You can see the fields at Thiepval where the Ulsters were wiped away on 1st July 1916 from the Redan Ridge, where Owen and his men froze in February 1917. That's how far the Somme front had moved in the intervening. Even more awful was the fact that, following their withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917, the German army was back in Beaumont-Hamel a year later, the front lines in the same trenches that had been occupied by the opposing forces in this sector on and prior to July 1st 1916. Owen, who had been fighting on the edge of St.Quentin in March 1917 was by then posted to the east coast following his extended sick leave, and he wrote to his mother 'they are dying again at Beaumont-Hamel, where the roads were already paved with the skulls of our men in 1916'.

    By a further turn of fate, when the German tide fell back again in the early autumn of 1918, and Owen was posted back to France, he found himself only a handful of miles away from where he had been concussed in 1917, close to St.Quentin.
    -alan- and twotone like this.
  4. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    An aunt of mine used to do some work with the former Labour Peer/Foreign Secretary Lord George Brown. He always firmly maintained that the loss of such a massive number of fit healthy men and teenagers from small villages and communities in WW1 had massive negative impacts across society and the population on many many levels - which were rarely if ever discussed. His view was the impact was such it would take at least two to three generations to recover.
    twotone likes this.
  5. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    The thing that struck me about WW1 was she sheer numbers of men who fought and joined up or were conscripted. The numbers of fatalities were mind boggling.

    I watched a programme last night on BBC4 and in one battle there were 200,000 casualties and there was another with 800,000 casualties which is the population of a city like Glasgow.

    Apparently there was a total of 40 million causalities world wide for the whole war. Scotland's casualties were 135,000 dead.
  6. tqineil

    tqineil pfm Member

    Highlight of the week for me were the screenings of The Burying Party arranged by the Wilfred Owen Association at Edinburgh at Redford Barracks and then at The Broxburn Academy the following morning after their 11am Armistace service. I got the opportunity to hear and hold the horn he took from a prisoner and hadn't been played in public until last Sunday at Ors.
  7. tqineil

    tqineil pfm Member

    My personal favourite Wilfred Owen poem and used in the film

    Wilfred Owen
    The Show
    My soul looked down from a vague height with Death,
    As unremembering how I rose or why,
    And saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth,
    Gray, cratered like the moon with hollow woe,
    And fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques.
    Across its beard, that horror of harsh wire,
    There moved thin caterpillars, slowly uncoiled.
    It seemed they pushed themselves to be as plugs
    Of ditches, where they writhed and shrivelled, killed.

    By them had slimy paths been trailed and scraped
    Round myriad warts that might be little hills.

    From gloom's last dregs these long-strung creatures crept,
    And vanished out of dawn down hidden holes.

    (And smell came up from those foul openings
    As out of mouths, or deep wounds deepening.)

    On dithering feet upgathered, more and more,
    Brown strings towards strings of gray, with bristling spines,
    All migrants from green fields, intent on mire.

    Those that were gray, of more abundant spawns,
    Ramped on the rest and ate them and were eaten.

    I saw their bitten backs curve, loop, and straighten,
    I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten.

    Whereat, in terror what that sight might mean,
    I reeled and shivered earthward like a feather.

    And Death fell with me, like a deepening moan.
    And He, picking a manner of worm, which half had hid
    Its bruises in the earth, but crawled no further,
    Showed me its feet, the feet of many men,
    And the fresh-severed head of it, my head.
    twotone and ff1d1l like this.

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